Bella's Blog

How to make Swedish snaps


Snaps is a highly alcoholic beverage flavoured with Swedish natural produce. Salty liqourice, in this case.

Snaps, not schnapps, is a Swedish must. A highly alcoholic beverage, it is rolled out at every traditional Swedish meal – that’s Christmas, Easter, Walpurgis Eve, Graduation, Student Parties, Midsummer, Crayfish season and any other excuse for a party, really – and it is drunk neat, with the excuse that it helps digestion. What it also does is help you have a great time as no snaps can be consumed without an accompanying snaps visa. In short, this is a little song about the drink you are about to consume – don’t say us Swedes don’t honour our foods.

Having lived in the UK for over a decade I have of course come to miss this very important aspect of a party and so I have taken to making my own DIY version. It’s very simple. Here’s what you need:

  • Vodka – doesn’t have to be good quality vodka as it will be flavoured anyway.
  • Something to flavour your vodka with – from fresh herbs to chili, lemon, lingonberries and hardboiled sweets, the choice is yours. Classic Swedish flavours include aniseed, fennel and elderflower – though I’m giving mine a modern twist with hard, salty liquorice (Turkisk Peppar works well) and lemon.

Prepare your ingredients the night before the day of consumption, or earlier if you like. The earlier you do it, the more it will taste but for my ingredients the night before is fine.

Crush the salty liquorice, pour it into the vodka.

Cut the lemon, trim the peel – this is the bit you want to use. Put it into the vodka bottle – you may have to pour some of it out* to make room. (*Pouring out does not mean wasting – treat yourself! This is hard work).

Close the lid. Chill the bottles overnight. Serve – and sing!


More on snapsvisor another time… in the meantime, check out my latest article for VisitSwedenLGBT: on Swedish summer vibes and the beautiful beaches of Skåne. And let me know how you get on; what are your favourite snaps flavours?

Bella x

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